The Los AngelesPolice Department is not even pretending to be neutral when it comes to its relationship to the Church of Scientology.
The long and suspicious relationship between the Church of Scientology and the LAPD continues unabated. Captain Cory Palka of the LAPD's Hollywood Division allowed the Church of Scientology to install an informational kiosk in his station house. Palka has long been known to critics as an ardent supporter of the Church of Scientology.
An alert local citizen happened to drop by the Hollywood Division and spotted this egregious violation of Church & State. The violation was reported to American Atheists. Geoffrey Blackwell, an attorney for American Atheists, immediately sent a letter to Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission demanding the kiosk be removed.
Law-enforcement agents on Thursday arrested chiropractors and brothers James and Jeffrey Spina; their sister and practice administrator Kimberly Spina; and Andrea Grossman, the business manager and bookkeeper, on charges of defrauding insurers of $80 million from 2011 to September 2017.
The Spina family operates the large multi-specialty pain-management practice formerly known as Dolson Avenue Medical, as well as affiliated businesses at 201 Dolson Ave. in Middletown. The practice changed its name after an August 2017 FBI raid.
In a case brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Geoffrey Berman, James "Jay" Spina, 59, and Jeffrey Spina, 56, both of Middletown; Kimberly Spina, 54, of Woodbourne; and Grossman, 59, of Loch Sheldrake, have each been charged with one count of conspiring to commit health-care fraud and one count of health-care fraud.
We have now obtained a copy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report on the death of Kristi Bouck, the 26-year-old Scientologist we told you about last month who ended her life on June 6.
Kristi was from Orange County, California and had been declared Clear by Scientology in 2015, a major milestone for any Scientologist. She and her fiancé had driven across country so that he could take courses at the Flag Land Base, Scientology's spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida. They rented a house in the nearby town of Dunedin, but just three or four days after they arrived, she died from a gunshot wound to the chest which the county medical examiner declared a suicide.
We now have more details about what happened, but not all of our questions have been answered by the 31-page report sent to us by the sheriff's office.
It's probably safe to say that the Church of Scientology is now in the grips of a complete meltdown.
We were struck by the church's response to the first season of Leah Remini's A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath, but as we have pointed out before, Scientology leader David Miscavige took things to a whole new level when the news was announced that A&E was bringing Remini back for a second season.
And now that we're three episodes into the second season, we're starting to realize something. We've never seen David Miscavige lose his shit like this.
2017-08-31, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This video is part of my series on the Basics of Scientology. my critical analysis of Scientology's philosophies and methods. I thought before we get too deep in to that series, I should first give an overview of the path to spiritual freedom and personal immortality which Scientology promises. I'll go over the history of this and then cover the various services Scientology offers. In this first part, we're going to cover the lower Grade Chart up to the OT levels, which as you'll see, is a lot. In the second part, we'll cover the upper Grade Chart with the OT levels and advanced Scientology training levels. Let's get to it.
In Scientology, the series of training and counselling services are collectively called The Bridge to Total Freedom, also known more formally as the Classifiation, Gradation and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates. The analogy of a bridge is a concept Hubbard actually came up with in 1950 when he wrote the final words of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health:
"One might here use an analogy of bridge engineering. Let us suppose that two plateaus exist, one higher than the other, with a canyon between them. An engineer sees that if the canyon could be crossed by traffic, the hitherto unused higher plateau, being much more fertile and pleasant, would become the scene ofa new culture.
In this video I breakdown the specific steps of the lower-half of Scientology's Bridge to Total Freedom, developed by L Ron Hubbard in the mid-1960s and representing the steps every Scientologist takes in their supposed journey to spiritual immortality.
Purification RD video: https://youtu.be/CuXfe77Qb7g
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
2017-08-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
True to form, within minutes of the show airing, scientology put up a new smear site, with videos from Liz Gale's mother and an unidentified "family friend."
To call these videos lame is to give them way too much credence.
Marie Gale spends most of her time talking about me — that I have somehow twisted Liz's mind to get her to tell her life story and that I knew all about it 20 years ago, so no news here. She also talks about Philip being accepted to MIT. Not a SINGLE RESPONSE to the destruction of the family, abandoning Liz, selling the ranch or anything else in the episode.
It appears the controversial Church of Scientology may be widening its recruitment in Ireland to people in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) and other Irish-speakers throughout the country with attempts made by a sub-company of the church to translate their educational and information supplements into Irish.
According to Tuairisc.ie, the subcompany – Golden Era Productions – recently wrote to a number of Irish translators looking for people qualified and interested in reproducing their programs in Irish. The company is not believed to have been forthcoming in informing those they contacted about their connection with Scientology, however.
"In addition to the many languages we already provide we will also now be making our materials available in Gaelic and thus we are looking for qualified and interested translators," the company wrote.
THE Church of Scientology appear to be trying to recruit Irish speakers to expand its church in Ireland.
A sub-company of the church has advertised for people in the Gaeltacht and other Irish-speakers throughout Ireland to translate their educational and information supplements into Irish.
It has been reported by Tuairisc.ie that Golden Era Productions, an organisation operated by the Church of Scientology that produces promotional material for the church's membership, recently wrote to a number of Irish translators looking for people to reproduce their programs in Irish.
Celebrity skeptics are a lot like others who distrust vaccines — they tend to seek out natural products and organic food and practice attachment parenting and alternative medicine.
Their celebrity lends them credibility to their fans, who follow their advice on diet, exercise and parenting.
But many celebrity skeptics share something else in common with one another: Scientology.
As part of its dishonest money-making scam, the Church of Scientology claims that a person can be a Scientologist and still be a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, or a member of any other faith. Yet this is an outright lie. In the secret 1993 settlement between IRS and Scientology, David Miscavige's attorney Monique Yingling told the IRS:
"Although there is no policy or Scriptural mandate expressly requiring Scientologists to renounce other religious beliefs or membership in other churches, as a practical matter Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths. As Scientologists, they are required to look only to Scientology Scriptures for the answers to the fundamental questions of their existence and to seek enlightenment only from Scientology. Thus, a Scientologist who grew up in the Jewish faith who continues formal membership in his synagogue and attends services with his family violates no Scientology policy or tenet. On the other hand, such a person is not permitted to mix the practice of his former faith into his practice and understanding of Scientology so as to alter orthodox Scientology in any way."
The reason Scientologists are "expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths" is because L. Ron Hubbard considered all other religions to be what he called "R6" alien implants. The Church of Scientology will not disclose to the public Hubbard's secret teachings about Jesus Christ, Islam, or any other religion. Only the most indoctrinated Scientologists get to read Hubbard's secret teachings about Jesus Christ. As a public service, therefore, the Scientology Money Project discloses these teachings.
2016-08-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a fascinating insight into the world inside the scientology bubble.
This image was posted to a scientology message board on FaceBook. Shortly after this screenshot was taken, the group's admin asked that it be taken down as it didn't have "Issue Authority."
Despite all the LRH biography briefings, websites, press releases and books in today's official scientology scripture there is no mention whatsoever anywhere that L. Ron Hubbard even had a wife (or 3) or any children.
Vance Woodward is one of our favorites here at the Underground Bunker. We greatly enjoyed the book he wrote about his time in Scientology (now no longer for sale), and he helped us write one of our favorite series, as we blogged L. Ron Hubbard's 1950 classic Dianetics from cover to cover.
In 2014, Vance filed suit against the Church of Scientology, seeking a refund on about $200,000 that he still had on account for courses that he never took in the church, and also for other damages he'd suffered as a Scientologist. Vance first got into Scientology at 14 in 1989 in Winnipeg, and later became an active member of the San Francisco org, where he estimated that he paid more than $600,000 in just three years before leaving the church in 2010.
After Vance gave up Scientology, he decided to turn his skills as a lawyer to suing the church. But he ran into trouble when his complaint turned out to be about much more than the money he wanted back. He included a voluminous (and highly readable!) condemnation of how Scientology worked to draw people in and clean them out. In court, Scientology pounced on the scattershot approach of Vance's complaint. It filed an "anti-SLAPP" motion — a way for defendants to stop a lawsuit in its tracks by asking the judge to rule whether there's really a chance that it will prevail. California's anti-SLAPP law is particularly strong, and Judge Michael Johnson of the Los Angeles Superior Court ended up agreeing with the church, that Vance's complaint went after a lot of things that had nothing to do with a refund, and that got into territory that was probably covered by Scientology's First Amendment rights of religious expression.
2015-08-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Remember back in early July the "new" Clear Certainty Rundown was announced. It was version 3 of something that Miscavige had earlier brought "totally in tech" and "exactly as LRH wanted it."
And at the time, there was much hype about how every org is sending a "Clear Certainty Team" to Flag for a fast training program. Only take a week or two.
Well, now nearly 2 months later only ONE team has apparently completed and returned to their org in WUS. And you can bet they are ahead of the non-US areas, and probably EUS too. This is typical of any of these training programs at Flag. They run months, and sometimes YEARS over the promoted time. Plenty of staff have gone to Flag for training and been gone for 5 YEARS or more. Flag takes advantage of these people as indentured servants to supervise and audit their public, while billing the orgs enormous amounts for the "training."
The Church of Scientology officials were telling the beautiful Norwegian blonde in front of the camera that it was all perfectly normal for a training video. The hair and make up team, heavy lip stick and mascara, and a production unit flown in especially from the Church's headquarters in California.
Anette Iren Johansen had no reason to doubt them. She'd given up her studies to be a veterinary surgeon to follow the Church. She'd spent tens of thousands on courses. She was a dedicated Scientologist.
But, in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online, Anette reveals that she unknowingly did what she claims was an audition to be Tom Cruise's girlfriend - and she believes that now that Tom is single after his divorce from Holmes, the screening process could be starting again.
For several years, we've posted fliers from Scientology's many events that are put on by barnstorming "OT" ambassadors out to sell something to compliant church members. But it's not very often that we get a report on what it's like to attend such a gathering.
A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to hear from a tipster who attended a pretty wild meeting that featured Scientology's Michael Chan talking about the mindblowing abilities that would come with OT 9 & 10 when they're released — such as the power to clone yourself just with your mind power!
This time, we heard from a different tipster who had told us that there would be a unique opportunity to attend a meeting put on by Scientology's barnstorming Freewinds salesmen. Why was it unique? Because the event was being held at a non-Scientology venue, which is pretty unusual. Here's the flier our correspondent sent to us before the event occurred...
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, was born into the religion.
He relocated from the USA to Scotland more than a decade ago and left the group five years ago. He said: "What made me finally walk away was when my mum was getting harangued for more and more money. She kept on giving more money when she was in dire straits financially." His mother was forced to "ex-communicate" her son. He also has concerns about the Drug-free World campaign and the Narconon programme.
2014-08-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Folks who have been following the journey I have been sharing on this blog and in my books over the past five years might want to know something about a subject that I have not mentioned in quite some time. I probably will not mention it again. But, I interrupt the flow of the discourse here for this brief message in the interest of giving a balance to the picture of the direction that I have been sharing. When events of 2015 are in full roar I don't want people to get the idea that all I have written over the past two years was some sort of diversionary ruse.
I have practiced what I have been sharing. If one seeks equanimity and expansion of awareness, I continue to recommend it. But, you might want to know that I have also drawn from other traditions on longer term work. Those disciplines understand that in order to increase the ability to confront sufficient to truly face the unknown, one must exercise proficiency in overcoming major sources of oppression. It has to do with ascendency of power over force and the art and science of critical point analysis application.
Work along that line must necessarily not be broadcast for the foreseeable future. Thus, none of what I refer to here has been disclosed anywhere, not even to my closest friends. It has nothing to do with any current legal proceedings and is unrelated (as am I) to the scientology infotainment lampooning industry (whose main useful purpose is attention distraction). If you hear rumors or 'inside skinny' about what this parallel work entails, you are hearing lies or the imagination of someone still caught in the scientology hallucinatory cause syndrome.
Activists were seen in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games before travelling east to leaflet crowds in Edinburgh for the city's August festivals. They also set up a stall at a family day in Possilpark where parents and children were photographed signing a pledge.
Dozens of volunteers distributed booklets which are said to be published by the "Foundation for a Drug-Free World", described in the literature as a "non-profit public benefit organisation headquartered in Los Angeles".
However, Wilson was also keen to distance Drug-Free World from Narconon. He said: "This campaign itself is funded by the International Association of Scientologists. It's a fully secular campaign itself.
"There is another programme called Narconon. It has centres all over the world and it's a drug rehab. But that's not directly part of The Truth About Drugs."
We hope you're having a great holiday weekend and we're happy that you could drop in at the Underground Bunker for some Sunday Funnies.
It's our weekly feature that allows us to show off the best Scientology mailers and fliers that have been forwarded to us by our great tipsters. And we're going to start off with a slick new ad for the Sea Org that contains an interesting admission.
"Over 6,500 strong, Sea Org members operate on an international level and implement strategies LRH put in place to effectively clear the planet," says the flier we're about to show you. At the bottom of it, you can clearly see that this is an official message from the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), which is part of the "Big Blue" complex in downtown Los Angeles which was once the Cedars of Lebanon hospital.
2014-08-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Didn't L. Ron Hubbard say that auditors are the most valuable beings on the planet?
So, why would an "on Source" scientologist who spent years training through CLASS VIII, be a full time reg for the IAS rather than a full time auditor?
Does Kathy Feshbach have disagreements with LRH?
THE BUNKER: So the apparent layers of control - the officers, directors, trustees, special directors…
DENISE: All a sham. The special directors - they had no authority. It looks like they have power, but they have no power at all. Pursuant to the CST bylaws the primary things they were charged with looking into were ensuring that CST qualified for tax benefits. And the regular directors who had to be Scientologists in good standing could overrule them at will. Throughout organized corporate Scientology we had undated resignation letters from all corporate trustees, directors, and officers. We used to go up to directors with meeting minutes already typed up and have them sign them without reading them. All of the corporate papers and layers of directors - it's all just a scam that has nothing to do with who really runs Scientology. Who runs Scientology is David Miscavige, and he controls it through the Sea Organization.
2013-08-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, you will be happy to hear, that like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, He's back. (Had to make a trip to Los Angeles to meet with lawyers to try and figure out how to wriggle out of the Monique Rathbun lawsuit).
But in His absence there was lots of excitement in downtown Clearwater over His tent. Actually, over the illegal destruction of two live oak trees to make way for the tent. He no doubt issued the order to chop down the trees when He was not in town so he couldnt receive any embarrassing phone calls from the city. Interestingly, none of the reports, even Tony Ortega himself, referred back to the earlier illegal oak tree felling incident in front of Robert Almblad's office when the trees blocked the PI's direct line of sight and audio monitoring from the empty office they moved into across the street. See the story on this here. (If you don't want to read the whole thing, just scan down to the picture of the chainsawed oak tree).
But, enough of the distractions, there is important news to relay!
2012-08-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Check out this article on one of the fastest growing religions in America:
The Amish don't spend millions each year to promote themselves.
2012-08-31, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology watchers, we have a treat for you this morning. This video has been making the rounds the last couple of days, and we can see why it's generating so much interest. Mike Napier, the captain of Scientology's private cruise ship, the Freewinds, stars in this film and tells us about the benefits of his "competence and leadership" course (which looks hard to distinguish from your typical Outward Bound sort of experience, but what do we know).
This is Scientology, so naturally the claims are off the charts -- for example, swabbing the decks of the church's tugboat is somehow going to teach you how not to age!
2011-08-31, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
A nice little tidbit for the evening here at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to call in to The Church of Lazlo show at 96.5 the Buzz in Kansas City. In 2003-2005 I lived in that city and was a regular on Lazlo's show, updating him on a newspaper I worked for there. Lazlo had me on his August 3 show because he wanted to know why I was writing so much about Scientology these days.
He had me on the show again today to say that since that program, he's received a communication from Scientology, and the lunkheads over there accidentally included an internal memorandum which indicated that Scientology's Office of Special Affairs International -- its worldwide intelligence and covert operations wing -- is going to be "handling" yours truly.
2011-08-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I don't mean to keep harping on such a seemingly simple week of activity. It is illustrative however of the suppression that has become Radical Corporate Scientology under the misdirection of David Miscavige. So I consider it relevant.
We're done in LA for the moment. We want to express our gratitude to the wonderful independent Scientologists who made our work possible against a well financed, zealously executed program to stop HELP. Michael Fairman's and Joy Grayson's roles have been covered in a previous post.
What is not known is the behind the scenes work of the incomparable Garcia family (Luis, Rocio, and Ivan). They engineered and financed and executed an elaborate scheme to make our work possible and free me up to get it done while also keeping a number of other ongoing 3rd dynamic projects on track. No grand standing, no motivation for recognition, just straight forward HELP came from the Garcias. This, in my view, is what Scientology is all about.
The Scientologists are still mad about the huge Lawrence Wright Scientology takedown that the NYer ran last February. Over six months ago! That piece ran after an eight-hour marathon fact-checking meeting with Scientologists. But here they are, six months later, to get their revenge, with a magazine spoof-including an entire DVD criticizing Lawrence Wright's journalistic methods!
In "The Church of Scientology," Hugh B. Urban, a professor of religious studies at Ohio State University, provides a fascinating account of how a healing practice called Dianetics came to define itself - and become officially recognized - as a religion in the United States. Urban strains to strike a balance between what he calls "a hermeneutics of respect and a hermeneutics of suspicion," grounded in a firm belief in freedom of worship and an obligation to ask tough questions about alleged misbehavior by Scientologists, including espionage against government agencies, attacks on critics, abuse of members, and attempts to alter entries in Wikipedia.
2011-08-31, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Tory is truly one of a kind. But many other Scientologists who leave the organization choose not to fade into obscurity. We want to recognize those who've had the greatest impact. Some have spent years trying to educate the public about their experiences and warn governments about Scientology's abuses, and some ex-members pose a threat because of who they were in Scientology.
2010-08-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
In January 1996 when I returned to the Int Base after two years of tech training at the Ship and Flag, Miscavige was well in progress on annihilating church management.
First, Miscavige was in the process of busting Marc Yager off CO CMO INT/WDC Chairman and spent three years attempting to turn the man into a mouse.
Second, Miscavige had nearly all those who remained in Int Managment working on an evolution as massive in content and as destructive in result as Golden Age of Tech. In his Stalinesque style Miscavige dubbed it New Era of Management. Like GAT, NEM consisted of endless binders of Miscavige written and/or directed and approved material. Just as GAT forever altered and replaced LRH tech, NEM forever altered and buried LRH admin.
Nothing to say,video explains it all,sea org member OT8 using tech Against a fellow Anonymous.
$cientology wants your Money,and ultimatley is a trap,$cientology will drive you crazy like this guy.
1995-08-31, Charles W. Hall, Washington Post, Seattle Times
A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., yesterday permitted The Washington Post to retain a copy of Church of Scientology texts and to use the texts in its news reporting, saying the paper's news-gathering rights far outweigh claims that the documents are protected by copyright and trade secrecy laws.
A federal judge in Alexandria yesterday permitted The Washington Post to retain a copy of Church of Scientology texts and to use the texts in its news reporting, saying the paper's news-gathering rights far outweigh claims that the documents are protected by copyright and trade secrecy laws.
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema refused to issue a preliminary injunction against The Post, saying its excerpts of the church's texts in an Aug. 19 Style section article were brief and did not diminish the texts' value to the worldwide church.
The article, which reported on lawsuits filed by the church to prevent critics from putting its texts on the Internet computer network, included brief quotations from Scientology documents obtained from a federal court file in Los Angeles.
Gov. Henry Bellmon's top legal aide advised him Wednesday not to get involved in a dispute over a proposed drug treatment center in Newkirk. "It would be inappropriate for the governor to sign any document endorsing a drug treatment center prior to completion of the Department of Mental Health's review of the facility for certification," Andrew Tevington said. Bellmon was asked by a group of Native Americans to sign a proclamation about drug abuse that mentions the Narconon Chilocco New Life Treatment Center.
Connoisseurs of sleazy stocks are the three Feshbach brothers -- fraternal twins Joe and Matt, 34, and their older brother, Kurt, 35. The Feshbachs go for what Joe calls "terminal" stocks that will drop even if the Dow goes to 3000. "We want to be sure we short lousy ones," he says. "Frauds and bankruptcy candidates and accounting fiascos." The brothers work from messy offices in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, California. Since they began shorting in June 1982, when the Dow sat on its tuffet around 800, the Feshbachs have yet to endure a down year. Their fund was up 248% in 1984. In the worst year so far, 1985, it rose 44%. They made 62% last year, but the fund is up only 13% for the first half of 1987 because the brothers made a mistake and shorted a large block of Reebok International shares. After watching the price rise, they covered at a loss. Reinvested profits and money from outside investors have pushed the total under Feshbach management to over $100 million. The fund is not open to new money just now. When it does reopen, the minimum investment in the partnership will be $2 million.
The bitter and bizarre feud between the federal government and the Church of Scientology took a startling turn last month when U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey removed himself from presiding over a pending criminal trial of two members of the church. Richey claimed the defendants and their attorneys had engaged in "groundless and relentless" attacks on him. Presumably one of those attacks was a charge -- reported by columnist Jack Anderson -- that Richey purchased the services of a prostitute while in California to hear one aspect of the government's case against the Scientologists.
Richey would not comment on the report.
Behind the story of the Anderson column and Richey's decision was an elaborately staged undercover operation by a local private investigator, Dick Bast. Bast was hired by the Scientologists to learn, among other things, if the judge -- who last December sentenced some members of the church to prison for breaking into government offices to steal documents -- was predisposed to rule against the defendants because of a personal dislike for Scientologists. Along the way, Bast learned about the alleged liaison between Richey and a prostitute.